The Second Disc

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WHAM!’s “The Final” to Be Reissued as CD/DVD Set

with 9 comments

In five years, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, as the U.K. pop duo WHAM!, released two albums, one compilation and a dozen singles. Only one of those releases placed anywhere beneath their native Top 10. No matter what you think of the group’s candy-coated pop stylings, those are incredible numbers in such a short period of time.

We could debate the impact of WHAM! all day – and this author would certainly side with them. (Their debut album Fantastic is, at worst, throwaway pop, and follow-up Make It Big is laden with pop hooks, all penned by Michael and Ridgeley themselves. As recent reissues have proven, Michael was a pop genius in his own right.) But those numbers can’t lie – WHAM! remain a popular relic of the 1980s, as sales of even 1998’s The Best of WHAM! If You Were There… (a U.K. Top 5 album) can attest to.

Now, in celebration of the compilation that took their career out on a high note, 1986’s The Final, a 25th anniversary edition is being planned for the U.K., featuring a bonus DVD of the group’s many hit music videos.

The year 1986 saw WHAM! do something nobody expected: they went out on top. Michael and Ridgeley amicably separated that summer, in order for Michael to attempt to woo a more mature audience with his advanced brand of pop songcraft. But they went out with a bang, issuing the chart-topping farewell single “The Edge of Heaven” and a neat compilation, The Final, to summarize the group. Featuring a killer cadre of hit singles (some of which appeared in their 12″ mixes. depending on which configuration of the album you bought) and a few new tracks (including the underrated “Where Did Your Heart Go?,” originally performed by Was (Not Was) and Michael’s first solo single, “A Different Corner”), it’s not hard to see why The Final was such a hit. (Harder to explain is the album’s absence from the U.S. market. Instead, the new tracks, along with some B-sides, were packaged as a new album, Music from the Edge of Heaven.)

This new reissue, to be released in the U.K. on November 28, features a newly-designed package, featuring a mirrorboard slipcase version of the iconic album sleeve, and comes packed with a DVD featuring all of WHAM!’s original music videos – in total, 13 of the 14 tracks on the compilation. Hit the jump for full discographical details and an order link!

WHAM! The Final: 25th Anniversary Edition (Sony Music U.K., 2011)

Disc 1: Original compilation (released as Epic 86681 (U.K.), 1986 – this track listing is identical to original CD)

  1. WHAM! Rap (Enjoy What You Do)
  2. Young Guns (Go for It!) (12″ Version)
  3. Bad Boys
  4. Club Tropicana
  5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
  6. Careless Whisper (Single Version)
  7. Freedom
  8. Last Christmas (Pudding Mix)
  9. Everything She Wants (Remix)
  10. I’m Your Man
  11. A Different Corner
  12. Battlestations
  13. Where Did Your Heart Go?
  14. The Edge of Heaven

Original versions of Tracks 1-4 from Fantastic (Inner Vision IVL 25328 (U.K.)/Epic FC 38911 (U.S.), 1983)

  • Track 2 released as Inner Vision 12″ single IVL A13 2766 (U.K.), 1982

Original versions of Tracks 5-7 and 9 from Make It Big (Epic 86311 (U.K.)/Columbia FC 39595 (U.S.), 1984)

  • Track 6 released on Epic single A 4603 (U.K.)/Columbia single 38-04691 (U.S.), 1984
  • Track 7 is an alternate mix exclusive to this compilation
  • Track 9 released on Epic 12″ single QTA 4949 (U.K.)/Columbia 12″ single 44-05810 (U.S.), 1984

Track 8 was the 12″ B-side to “Everything She Wants” (Epic QTA 4949 (U.K.)/Columbia 44-05810 (U.S.), 1984). Later released as U.K. 12″ A-side (Epic WHAM T1, 1985).
Track 10 was a non-LP single (Epic A 6716 (U.K.)/Columbia 38-05721 (U.S.), 1985)
Tracks 11-14 are new tracks.

  • Track 11 released as Epic single A 7033 (U.K.)/Columbia single 39-0588 (U.S.), 1986.
  • Tracks 12-14 originally released as a 12″ single (Epic FIN T1 (U.K.), 1986).

Disc 2: DVD – promo videos

  1. WHAM! Rap (Enjoy What You Do)
  2. Young Guns (Go for It!)
  3. Bad Boys
  4. Club Tropicana
  5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
  6. Careless Whisper
  7. Freedom
  8. Last Christmas
  9. Everything She Wants
  10. I’m Your Man
  11. A Different Corner
  12. Where Did Your Heart Go?
  13. The Edge of Heaven

Written by Mike Duquette

October 31, 2011 at 10:25

9 Responses

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  1. It’s a shame they couldn’t have included the DVD of Wham!’s “The Final” live performance which has never been issued.

    Tom

    October 31, 2011 at 10:40

  2. One correction: unless a change has been made to the original “Final” album, track 7 (Freedom) us the US 45 single remix, not a mix that is exclusive to this compilation.

    Brian

    October 31, 2011 at 15:19

  3. what a rip off! where is the “Final” live concert from Wembley ? George can do so much better than this. Just like the “Faith” re-issue last year, he and Sony only add (video)footage we already own.

    Sven1987

    October 31, 2011 at 15:49

  4. This is incredible. Some of these videos, like “Bad Boys,” have never been on DVD before.

    John

    October 31, 2011 at 19:58

  5. We’re assuming it will be region 1 dvd – btw. And I agree – some form of THE FINAL (concert) should be released one day – sad they didn’t here. As for “Freedom” there away too many versions to count (12″ with A Capella opening, single mix with trumpet at end, and on and on….) Sad that the great 12″ of “Bad Boys” isn’t included….

    Todd R.

    October 31, 2011 at 23:11

  6. Great News! Not a bad price either.

    cdmaniac

    November 1, 2011 at 03:15

  7. It misses “Blue (armed with love) from original release on tape.

    Elim Garak

    November 1, 2011 at 08:18

  8. Agree with Elim – it’s missing ‘Blue (Armed With Love)’. Not complete, just like the ‘Faith’ release wasn’t complete.

    Paul Brake

    November 1, 2011 at 17:52

  9. Rather have videos than a concert. Bad Boys was never put on the original as George Michael hated the song

    graham

    November 29, 2011 at 15:52


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